6 ways Alabama is truly the state of surprises
All states have a one-line nickname that succinctly describes what it is. All of these slogans are designed to attract tourists. Slogans such as “I Love New York” and “Virginia is for Lovers” are examples that have remained etched in our collective consciousness.
In 1988, Alabama decided it was time to change the mindset of Americans and try to erase the stereotypes that had been imposed on it. The brains of marketing at Alabama Department of Tourism launched a new campaign to attract money from tourism. Travel guides have been published. State border welcome signs have been updated. Radio and television commercials hit airwaves across the country, all proudly proclaiming Alabama as “the state of surprises.”
The nickname was a surprise not only to travelers, but also to residents, who had no idea what they had in their own backyards, and there are plenty of them: shiny white gulf beaches, mountains. hilly and rocky hills, incredible outdoor sports and recreation, arts, and entertainment, touching southern cuisine, unusual attractions off the beaten track. The list is lengthened increasingly.
Here are six reasons why Alabama lives up to its moniker and why it should be considered for your next getaway.
1. Nature abounds
Researchers at the University of Georgia called Alabama “Fort Knox Biodiversity. “Its hot and humid climate combined with a myriad of rivers, streams, streams, wetlands and river delta make it one of the most biodiverse regions of the country with an incredible and abundant range of wildflowers. , trees and an amazing list of aquatic and aquatic plants, terrestrial wildlife.
Then there are the impressive landscapes. The northern region around Huntsville is a geological wonderland. Destinations like Dismals Canyon, Cane Creek Nature Reserve, and the “Land of a Thousand Waterfalls” – Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness – feature deep and mysterious canyons painted with thick green moss inviting you to explore ancient crevices and rock shelters that Native Americans once called theirs. house and where the imposing waterfalls continue to cut into the soft stone.
To the northeast, mighty waterfalls, including DeSoto Falls and Little River Falls, flow into deep gorges.
As you make your way to the central region near Birmingham, you can take in breathtaking panoramic views of the rolling Southern Appalachians from the many rocky cliffs of the Talladega National Forest, trek through mixed deciduous forests on the long way to The State – the 171 mile long Pinhoti Trail, and take a dip to cool off from the hot southern summer sun at Chinnabee Creek.
And along the Gulf Coast, the infiltrating bogs of pine forests create what is described as the most breathtaking collection of pitcher plants in the world at Splinter Hill Bog.
2. Outdoor recreation
With all of this natural beauty, you would expect there to be some great outdoor recreation, and you would be right.
With over 132,000 miles of rivers, streams, lakes and coastline, Alabama is a paddler’s dream come true. Grab your kayak and try your hand at a whitewater adventure on Grasshopper fork Where Flint Creek.
Take one of the state’s slow moving blackwater rivers for a lazy float, one of the best being the Perdido River Canoe Trail which borders Alabama and Florida. The trail offers a cool swim and picnics on shiny white sand bars and the option to stay overnight in one of the elevated shelters on the trail.
For a real adventure, paddle one of the many dark and mysterious bayous of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta on the Bartram canoe trail. The delta is the second largest in the country and resembles a tropical forest hence its nickname “America’s Amazon”. It is best to explore this aquatic wilderness with a local guide like those in Native Wild.
For cyclists, Alabama has world-class single-track mountain bike trails, many of which are located in state parks, including Chewacla and Oak Mountain. The best is at Cold water mountain where 35 miles of track challenge beginners to hardcore cyclists.
And for you fishermen, you have come to the right place. There are over 132,000 miles of rivers and streams as well as shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, giving you the option of casting your line for Largemouth Bass on Lake Martin, King Mackerel or Red Snapper off 1,540 feet long Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier, or board a rental boat to disembark the sailboat.
3. Go to the beach
Alabama’s footprint along the Gulf Coast is relatively small compared to its neighbors, but it still has some of the best, sugary white sand beaches in the Gulf. The snow-capped white dunes and the gently sloping shore are brought to life by the bewitching turquoise waters of the gulf that demarcate the shore. While these beaches are increasingly well known, the area still has a quaint and inviting charm that makes it the perfect vacation destination.
You would be hard pressed to find better hosts than the towns of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores which serve Southern hospitality and assured fun in the sun. After spending time soaking up the sun and the surf, hop aboard a dolphin cruise and watch the playful mammals frolic in the wake. For the daredevil in you, cool off with a thrilling slide down one of Waterville USA’s giant water slides, or buckle up and hang in for a thrilling ride on Rollin ‘Thunder Amusement Park at OWA .
4. Arts and entertainment
World-class concert halls, theaters and events can be found across the state from Huntsville to Mobile. Stars include cool jazz at Perfect remark in Hoover, a real mix of genres Stove House in Huntsville, and the eclectic array of artists and musical styles to be found at Cuisine of the soul in Mobile.
One of the biggest music festivals in the country, the Meeting place, is based in Gulf Shores. Every year, music lovers party the night away on the beach with food and fun, with several stages showcasing an incredible variety of national and local musicians.
The four major cities of the state – Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile – have excellent symphony orchestras that delight music lovers with interpretations of arrangements by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and even John Williams.
Before the last note is just a memory, be sure to visit the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, where you’ll learn about the state’s rich musical history, including legends such as Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, and the Alabama band, to name a few.
5. Fascinating museums
And we can’t forget the state’s world-class museums. Learn about the past, present and future of spaceflight at US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville and experience the sorrow and horrors of slavery in America at the incredibly powerful Heritage museum in Montgomery.
In Mobile, the GulfQuest The Maritime Museum presents the history of the state’s oldest city and its role in the maritime history of the Gulf Coast. The museum offers dozens of interactive exhibits, including one where you can pilot a tanker to the port.
Mobile is known as the birthplace of Mardi Gras in America. The history of festivities and pageantry comes to life at Mobile Carnival Museum. Many do not call Mobile the “Mother of Mystics” for nothing.
6. The comfort of the south … as in comfort food
Each state has its own exceptional barbecue – Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis. But let me tell you, this is no barbecue in Alabama.
You haven’t lived until you dive into a delicious three-bone rib sandwich at Campbell’s in Talladega, sample the tangy walnut-smoked pork ribs at the famous Dreamland BBQ with locations in Northport, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa , Huntsville and Mobile, or revel in the smoker’s smoke as you enter Bob Sykes Bar-BQ in Bessemer.
The state is also known for its incredible seafood served fresh from the boats that cruise the waves of the Gulf. Some of the best seafood restaurants are located on the causeway (US Highway 98 / US Highway 90) that connects Mobile and Baldwin counties on Mobile Bay. Locals will tell you that the best can be found here in the three great seafood restaurants: the Original oyster house, bluegill restaurant, and Ed’s Seafood Shed. Each serves their own variation of delicious fried, flambé, and half-shell oysters and dozens of mouthwatering fish and crab dishes, all caught in the bay and gulf. And there’s an added bonus – a spectacular sunset light show over Mobile Bay.
The bottom line
So, as you can see, Alabama is truly a state of surprises. Whatever your pleasure, it offers many exciting vacation options. Visit the Alabama Department of Tourism website for more great adventures.
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